Week One – Day 3 Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Read PSALM 34 SOAP Psalm 34:17-18
- What does it mean that the Lord hears us? What does this mean for those who struggle with loneliness?
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. 21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
O – The Psalmist STARTS his song with “I will bless the Lord at all times.” At ALL times. ALL times. Not just the good times. ALL times. “His praise will CONTINUALLY be in my mouth.” “Oh – magnify the Lord WITH ME. Let US exalt His name TOGETHER.” He encourages others to join him in his praise. To make God bigger – in our praise. To Magnify. To Exalt. Gadal – to make great. WHY? Because he sought God in his trouble and God answered and delivered.
He is CERTAIN that God hears and answers and delivers. He DECLARES what he knows to be true about God:
- When we look to God – our faces are “radiant” – nahar – joyfully satisfied. (v. 5)
- We won’t be ashamed, chaphar – a result of misplaced trust. We CAN trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness. (v. 5)
- The LORD hears us – AND saves us from our troubles. (v. 6)
- The angel of the LORD surrounds us – and delivers us. (v. 7)
- GOD is GOOD! Taste and see it. Experience it. We are blessed when we trust in God. (v. 8)
- When we fear God, we have no lack. We have all that we need in Him. (v. 9)
- We lack NO GOOD THING when we seek God. God provides all that we need in Him. This is even more than the mighty lion! (v. 10)
- The fear of the Lord – Who wouldn’t want a satisfying life? Fearing God involves staying away from speaking evil things and lies – and turning away from evil. To seek peace – and run after it. (v. 11 – 14)
- God inclines His eyes and ears towards us. He sees. He hears. He responds by delivering us.(v. 15, 17)
- God is not promising that we won’t have trouble. He is promising that He will DELIVER us from trouble. When we cry out to Him. (v. 17)
- God is near to us – to the brokenhearted, to the “crushed in spirit.” (v. 18)
- There may be many “afflictions.” But the LORD delivers us OUT of them all. Not a promise that we won’t have them – but be delivered OUT of them. (v. 19)
A – When I am troubled, do I FIRST OFF exalt the Lord? Or – do I worry and fret? This psalm reminds me what my first steps should be. To magnify God – to make Him bigger, in my praise. He IS bigger. He is bigger than my troubles. He is bigger than my worries. He is bigger than…… everything!
But it also says to exalt the Lord at ALL times. Every time. For everything.
This will take my mind off ME – and to focus on HIM. THAT is where my mind needs to be! To focus on Him, and not my problems. And – when I do that publically, it will cause others to do the same – to exalt the Lord.
God is promising to be with us through our troubles. Not necessarily to avoid them. But to be with us – and deliver us. And – to be near us – when we are brokenhearted – or crushed.
This psalm has stayed with me through years – especially since I heard the music that was set to the psalm. Oh, how George Willis loved this song….. and chose it for services many times. The image of him leading the music is with me….. raising his hands and praising God. May I do the same….. sing His praises and magnify the Lord. To exalt Him at ALL times. For His praise to continually be in my mouth.
P – Father, may this psalm be in my heart, and flow out through my mouth today. At all times, I will bless You and Your praise will be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord. The humble man will hear of Him, the afflicted will be glad, and join with me to magnify the Lord.
Lord, may Your name be exalted in my life today. May Your praises be in my mouth – and others hear of YOU through me. Amen.
Let Us Exalt His Name Together – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW6whvgrdmk
At all times I will bless Him
His praise will be in my mouth
My soul makes its boast in the Lord
The humble man will hear of Him
The afflicted will be glad
And join with me to magnify the Lord
Let us exalt His name together, forever
I sought the Lord, He heard me
And delivered me from my fears.
Let us exalt His name together, forever
0 sing His praises magnify the Lord
The angel of the Lord encamps
Round those who fear His name
To save them and deliver them from harm
Though lions roar with hunger
We lack for no good thing
No wonder then we praise Him with our song
Come children now and hear Him
If you would see long life
Just keep your mouth from wickedness and lies
Do good and turn from evil
Seek peace instead of strife
Love righteousness and God will hear your cry